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New-Left Mobility, Southern Agency, and North-African Immigration: Blind Spots in the Memory of Pro-Palestinian Activism in Belgium


Description : Only recently has the historiography of the post-May 1968 years started to break free from their former protagonists' influence, especially those who remained in the spotlight, most of whom were men. The Palestinian revolution, in particular, stands very awkwardly in the memory of these years, because of its entanglement with the "Jewish question" and the Christians' interest in the Holy Land. In Belgium, there are mainly two types of narrative available to analyze such intricate features. On the one hand, a hagiography of the martyr Naïm Khader, murdered in Ixelles in 1981, with a strong emphasis on his inclination to dialogue. On the other hand, as a counterpoint, a general account of radical left groups whose action, as promoted by a rebellious and marginalized youth, is often deemed irrelevant. In between the two types of narrative are several blind spots: for one, how does the Palestinian cause fit more broadly into the tri-continental struggles that also inspired protest in the West? Can the contribution of "leftist splinter groups," while in contact with fighting parties in Africa and the Mashreq, be altogether disregarded? Finally, can we ignore their attempts to extend the so-called revolutionary "Storm Zone" to the working-class districts of Brussels and Antwerp where lived an immigrant population of Arab-Turkish origin? In this communication, I question what other sources can open us up to these more transversal aspects of the early 1970s.
Contributeur : Laboratoire d'Excellence Labexmed <>
Soumis le : mercredi 9 octobre 2019 - 17:44:09
Dernière modification le : jeudi 4 juin 2020 - 10:24:09